Platinum is one of the four major precious metals held physically by investors, however, it is traded in significantly lower quantities than gold or silver. One of the main reasons for this is that the metal is far scarcer. World production of platinum is less than one-hundredth of gold. Additionally, the majority of platinum produced is used in the automobile industry. That being said, the metal has been a very good performer in the last decade, and any precious metals investor looking to build a diversified portfolio should hold some platinum.
Quantities of platinum produced and refined have varied siginificantly in the last decade. Over 90% of the world’s platinum production occurs in South Africa and in Russia. This makes the metal’s price extremely susceptible to changes in the economic and political conditions in those two countries. Additionally, changes in labor laws can have huge impacts on the price of platinum.
Platinum is increasingly used in the automotive industry, and also in other tech products. The metal is also used in jewellery.
Both platinum bars and coins are produced, and available to investors worldwide.
Platinum coins available to precious metals investors include the Platinum American Eagle, Platinum Maple Leaf, Platinum Philharmonic, Platinum Noble and Platinum Platypus coins. All of these coins are available in 1 Oz denominations, and the American Eagle is also available in fractional denominations.
A number of government mints have recently started introducing platinum coins in an effort to keep up with increased demand.
The Royal Mint has recently introduced the Queen’s Beasts platinum coin, and the Platinum Philharmonic is also new to the precious metals market.
Platinum bars have always been available to precious metals investors, however recently the bars have become more stylized and are available in a larger range of sizes. Both PAMP and Credit Suisse have introduced small, 1 gram and 5 gram platinum bars. Valcambi and Argor Heraeus have also introduced a combi bar in platinum, which is quite popular with platinum investors.
Platinum bars sell at a slightly higher premium to gold bars, however the metal tends to have larger price fluctuations, which can be beneficial to platinum investors.